Sunday, April 20, 2014

Labor day weekend

 The last weekend of our summer is over. It burned bright and ended softly like the embers of the last campfire. It was a wonderful weekend filled with family and friends, food and drink, fun and more fun. I have such a blessed life. I am thankful for every day.
    Our weekend was shortened as I had to work Saturday and arrived at the lake at 4 o'clock Saturday  afternoon as opposed to Friday evening. It was a great weekend all the same. Monday morning we woke early to see  a lake as smooth as glass. Mandy and I woke our daughter and headed for the boat. We were  the only boat on the water at 8am save a few fishing boats. I hope we didn't disturb their morning too much. The air was cold and so was the water but it was the last time we would be able to ski this year and the best water we had seen all season. We all took our turn behind the boat while our friends were just stirring around the morning campfire. I couldn't help letting out several rebel yells as I took my turn on the water. It was amazingly flat and my ski cut through the water like butter. It was the perfect way to end a perfect summer.

The boat is washed waxed drained covered and in the garage. The trailer is home and covered as well. The skis, tube, and wake-board, are stored and the wet suits and ski vests are hanging in the closet. There is a chill in the air today. It is like a switch was flipped and summer turned to fall. The rain came with thunder and lighting yesterday announcing the change in seasons. This sounds poetic and yet it is the absolute truth. Soon the country air will be a haze with wood smoke. I love the smell of fall. I feel like hibernating. I wish I was a bear. The colors will soon begin to change. How is it that there is so much beauty in death? The fall season is my time of reflection. The days grow shorter, the nights colder. A good book, a warm fire, and a bowl of potato soup become my best friends. Of all the seasons, fall is my second favorite. My body is still tan and I look and feel in shape from the summer activities. It is my time to try and fill the freezer. Salmon are in the river and there will be many good clamming tides. Deer and elk season will provide meat and pepperoni if I have any luck at all. Winter will soon arrive. I will become pale and start to look like a cancer patient. The sky will be grey. The days will be short. The world will sleep. Its funny to me how the seasons represent our life. Spring is our birth. Winter our death and yet even in the darkest of winter spring is just around the corner.

Monday, April 7, 2014


In 2006 my Psa stood at 3216. It took a little over a year for Hormone Therapy to drop it to an undetectable level. It was at this point that I entered the zero club. The zero club is a club that every man with prostate cancer wants to be in. If there is no Psa there is no Cancer. You see, not only did my Psa drop to an undetectable level but C/T and bone scans revealed that the tumors had also shrunk to undetectable levels. I still had microscopic cancer in my body but I was in as complete a remission as a stage 4 terminal cancer patient could hope for. It lasted 18 months. It was during this time that I began to believe I had beaten it all together. I was doing so well that I was even allowed a break from treatment that lasted an entire year.  It didn't last. 33 months into the journey, my membership in the zero club was revoked. My Psa had risen obove 0.05 and it just kept on rising. Mid way through year number 5 it had risen to around 100. The tumors in my lungs were back. It was at this time that I was infused with Provenge. After my infusion I took Casodex to drop my Psa. It dropped and the Provenge gave me 14 side effect free, progression free months. When my Psa hit 28 I went on Zytiga. 9 months into this treatment I am once again in the zero club. Friggin Amazing!!!!! 
  I have never been a statistic kind of guy but I really have to wonder about this one. I mean let's face it the odds of getting back into the club at month 94 seem just a tad slim if you ask me. To say that I am happy is the mother of all under statements. I am elated. This last weekend we celebrated by going to the high desert in Oregon and hiking in the mountains as well as doing a little rock climbing. Nothing too extreme. We do not require rope and D-rings or a climbing harness. It was beautiful. I felt so alive. 

We climbed to the top of a ridge where a large boulder had fallen from above and was perched atop the ridge like an exclamation point. I just had to take a selfy when I was standing next to that rock.

It was a great weekend spent with family and friends. 
   Today as I sat reflecting on the weekend it hit me that my bloodwork really is at an undetectable level. After eight years the cancer is undetectable. All I can say is Glory to God. I spent the weekend in a place so beautiful it takes your breathe away. The water color painted sky could only have been painted by a master artist. I believe in a creator. I know who has blessed me. I just really don't know why. Todd